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The Kills : London WC1 ULU

The Kills eat, drink, shag and possibly intraveinously inject rock'n'roll.

The Kills  :  London WC1 ULU

May 21



The Kills know what rock'n'roll is. It's not a glib statement, because there aren't a whole lot of people out there who do. The Kills look like they don't wash. The Kills look like they don't sleep. The Kills look like they want to have sex. The Kills eat, drink, shag and possibly intraveinously inject rock'n'roll.



By now, you'll have checked out their debut album - 'Keep On Your Mean Side'. This is a record that knows why it's there. Taut, dense and claustrophobic, it's one of the best LPs that the Domino label has ever put out. Some people think it's contrived, but tonight's gig is great for all the reasons the band have been criticized for. When Hotel and VV are on stage, they act like they don't know anyone else is in the room. They don't acknowledge the audience for a second, preferring instead to lock themselves into a dank basement-blues that you either get or you don't. They couldn't care less.



Their tight, coiled-up take on the history of rock'n'roll is a thrilling and unsettling spectacle from start to finish. The highlights are constant - the relentless thud of 'Fried My Little Brains', the hopscotch melodrama of 'Black Rooster', the wiry sexual freak-out of their Captain Beefheart cover 'Dropout Boogie'.



They end with 'Hitched,' - as paranoid love songs go, it's unlikely anyone else has ever got close to the intensity and insularity they flare out for four convulsive minutes. But then like we said, The Kills know what rock'n'roll is. It's a rare quality in 2003, and it's why you should take them to your heart.



James Oldham

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